Wild Ohio visits the Castalia Prairie in Erie County.
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The Resthaven Wildlife Area is at the northern edge of Castalia on the west side of State Route 269. Totaling 2,272 acres, the area includes 444 acres of water. Most of the land is in woodland and shrubby cover. Approximately 90 acres is in crop rotation. Sixteen percent of the land is grassland. More than half the area had been strip mined for marl (a deposit of calcium carbonate or dolomite) prior to purchase by the Division of Wildlife. This mining left a very rough surface which has reverted to woody vegetation and cattails.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Resthaven Wildlife Area lies centered in what was originally a wet marl prairie, known by the early settlers as the “Castalia Prairie.” Early accounts record an extensive wet prairie reaching from the present city of Sandusky to Port Clinton. These accounts relate that the grass grew up to seven feet tall and was so thick as to make progress almost impossible.
Land purchase by the state of Ohio began in 1942. The overall objective is to provide public hunting and fishing by managing for species best suited to the land capabilities of the area. The area will be maintained in diversified cover types consisting of cropland interspersed among areas of permanent grass and low shrubs. Present woodlots will be maintained.